6-15-12/Surgery Next Week

When I want into transplant April 12th, I wore a shirt that said, “Honey Badger Don’t Care.” Well, now the Honey Badger does care! I am having surgery next Thursday, June 21.


The surgeon asked what I was doing next thursday, and I told him that suddenly, my schedule had cleared up.


The percentage of people who have complications that lead to this surgery is around 1% of transplant recipients. To be sure this goes well, both my surgeon from the transplant, as well as the surgeon who operated on my mother, will be performing this surgery. If they do 120 transplants a year, which is about what Yale does, they have to perform this surgery 1-2 times.


In addition to the rarity of the surgery, they can find complications during the surgery frequently. The old ureter could be fragile as well, it could have trouble reaching the new kidney, etc. In the latter case, they actually move the bladder closer to the new kidney. So, they have contingency plans for 3 scenarios. If it’s a fourth or fifth scenario – they close up me up and go to plan Z. Of course, the likelihood of a fourth or fifth scenario is less than 1%. Sound familiar?


The surgery will involve a second incision, at least as big as the first – there goes my modeling career! This incision will be centered on my stomach which means it could a) heal a little faster, and b) potentially cause less movement infringement. Less pain is NOT likely. They also have to cut through different tissue as well as scar tissue around the new kidney. This involves causing the bowels to shut down for a few days from trauma. This means no food for 2-4 days post surgery.


I can deal with the pain (although not pleased about it), but the whole thing is overwhelming right now. Another long recovery with continuous pain. Another cyscoscopy at the end. Another headache for my family. Another interruption in a life that was 70% back to normal.


I don’t mean to be bitter. I am glad they can do the surgery and am optimistic it works. Of course, I felt that way going into the transplant surgery as well.


I am really happy that long-term I should be okay, and relieved they caught this early enough that I am not at added risk of losing the new kidney. Don’t get me wrong, my feelings are overwhelmingly positive.


People keep reminding me it could be worse. I agree, and I know that. However, knowing that and that long-term I should have a fairly normal life AND feeling bummed/scared/angry are NOT mutually exclusive.


As far as I am concerned I am entitled to have both feelings.


I’ll try to write again before the surgery, but am really overwhelmed, so no promises.

4 Responses to “6-15-12/Surgery Next Week”
  1. Tracy says:

    You’re absolutely entitled to feel both feelings, and any others that come along too.

    I’m so sorry, but I have to say I’m relieved it’s sooner rather than later. Anticipating it for 2 months seemed really awful. Given that it has to happen, I’m glad you can start and then hopefully MOVE ON soon…

    Much love,

  2. Maribel says:

    I have been following along and haven’t been able to comment. I am also a kidney recipient and when you had your transplant I went into rejection. As you started to go through the new steps I was too. I had a rough start and some do. I know its tough but never lose hope. I will keep you in prayer for this surgery to be a success and you can return to normal life. Your entitled to those feelings it comes with the territory. I think it’s admirable for you to be sharing each step of the way. Its something you’ll one day look back at and see how much you’ve overcome~

    • dakski says:


      Thank you! I wish the same good health and good fortune for you as well.

      Please keep me in the loop so we can celebrate getting through this together.



      • Maribel says:

        David, so far kidney function is stable. My transplant almost didn’t take, they called it a sleepy kidney. 6 days later it awoke. I felt the best I had in the longest so that was the only hiccup. Almost 6 month post-transplant I take my first family trip. On ended up catching a serious infection from the air. From there it has been challenging. It is finally getting stable 2 years later. I don’t want this to discourage you but wanted to share a little bit about my background. You can read more on my blog as well. Writing was a source of healing. I inspired to share running into other sites and just started again. I will be in touch and I have you on my reader so I will be following along and keeping you in my prayers. You really have a strong spirit!

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